Pregame Shootaround: Multiple top-25 teams in action during a solid Saturday

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source: AP
Duke’s Justise Winslow (AP)

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Stanford vs. No. 4 Duke (9:30 p.m.)

The championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic features the master against the student as Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski faces Stanford and head coach Johnny Dawkins, Coach K’s former player and assistant coach. The coaching matchup is enticing enough, but there are All-American candidates on the floor for each team. Senior guard Chasson Randle pumped in six three-pointers in the Cardinal’s win over UNLV on Friday night and he’ll be tough to contain for Duke’s guards. Stanford, meanwhile, needs to worry about slowing down Blue Devil freshman center Jahlil Okafor, which has not easily been done so far this season. UNLV and Temple will battle in the undercard of this one as both games take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 21 Nebraska at Rhode Island (7:00 p.m.)

A battle of teams off to solid starts as both enter the young season 2-0. Nebraska hasn’t played well on the road in non-conference games dating back to last season and the Huskers are off to slow starts in games this season. Rhode Island is looking to jump to 3-0 and has held opponents to 36 percent shooting so far this season and 17 percent shooting from the three-point line. College Basketball Talk‘s Terrence Payne will be in attendance and have more from this one.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR: 

  • Wisconsin faces another talented mid-major team on Saturday when Boise State comes to Madison. The Broncos are 3-0 on the season, like the Badgers, and Derrick Marks and Anthony Drmic are a talented senior backcourt duo. After Wisconsin’s impressive home win over Horizon League favorite Green Bay earlier this week, let’s see if the Badgers continue to take care of solid competition at home.
  • The Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena tips off on Saturday as Notre Dame faces UMass and Florida State takes on Providence. These should be two interesting matchups featuring teams outside the top 25, but still battling for NCAA Tournament berths. The Springfield Bracket, a separate four-team even, features Binghamton facing Manhattan and Northeastern against Navy.
  • Colorado visiting Wyoming makes for a fun Saturday night contest. The front court battle between the Cowboys’ Larry Nance Jr. and the Buffaloes’ Josh Scott features two of the most underrated post players in the West.
  • How does No. 22 SMU bounce back after two consecutive road losses? The Mustangs host a talented 3-0 Eastern Washington team on Saturday that has some capable scorers like the junior duo of guard Tyler Harvey and forward Venky Jois. Can SMU bounce back and start putting some wins together in the non-conference portion of its schedule?
  • The consolation portion of the Paradise Jam has two games scheduled, including surprise teams who lost in the first round like Clemson (lost to Gardner-Webb) and LSU (lost to Old Dominion). The ACC Tigers will face Nevada while the SEC Tigers will play Weber State.

THE TOP 25:

  • No. 6 North Carolina at Davidson, 2:00 p.m.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas at No. 13 Gonzaga, 9:00 p.m.